Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Can cricket be maintained if bio-secure venues are a must

Opinion: Can cricket be maintained if bio-secure venues are a must

Can cricket be maintained if bio-secure venues are a must

England are set to host the first Test cricket in the age of the current global pandemic making use of two bio-secure venues to stage the three matches.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

In preparation for the series, the England Cricket Board has conducted hundreds of COVID-19 tests to ensure that the environment that players, backroom staff and officials will enter is as safe as can be guaranteed.

That guarantee is by no means 100 % but cricket has hopes that England might show the way for the rest of the world.

The trouble is that England's Cricket Board has resources at its disposal that the vast majority of the rest of the Test-playing nations do not.

In South Africa, there are candidates for bio-secure venues but apart from Supersport Park, none of them are major Test venues.

Old Trafford and the Rose Bowl complex in Southampton have hotels and all the practice facilities players need on-site and the venues can ensure access control long in advance of the events

England will not allow fans back in for their TV-only Test series against the West Indies, which begs the question of when fans might be allowed into sporting environments, with some codes already allowing spectators back.

Fans will not be allowed in as long as venues need to be strictly bio-secure.

The kind of bio-bubble required to conduct a simple three-Test series would not be possible for the poorer Test-playing nations to maintain and we have seen Bangladesh opt not to tour Sri Lanka in July.

Another problem for the ICC is that its southern Asian powerbase has been particularly badly affected by the virus which could hold back the rest of the cricketing world even as New Zealand and Australia continue opening up for sport.

In South Africa, it has become clear that the government would expect the game's bosses to demonstrate that an event can be held safely before any restart can happen on our shores.

The question may be not whether cricket can take place in a bio-secure environment, but whether boards can afford to maintain that bubble.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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